Senseless smoke-free stats all smoke and mirrors

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There is no such thing as a safe form of tobacco, says Joseph Lee, a social research specialist for the Department of Family Medicine at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in an op-ed last week for Raleigh’s

Mr. Lee specifically goes on to condemn the recent R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s Camel Snus ads as misleading and claims that “smokers who try tobacco snus products are at high risk of becoming addicted to both cigarettes and snus, thus continuing or even adding to their risk for lung, bladder, breast, cervical, oral and pancreatic cancer.”

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross fires back that these are horrendous misstatements that lack any evidentiary support. In diametric opposition to Mr. Lee’s beliefs, Dr. Ross points out that “with these ads, R.J. Reynolds actually encourages people to switch to smokeless tobacco products instead of just using them when the option to smoke is unavailable. It is well-documented that smoke-free tobacco products are much safer than smoking. While Mr. Lee is correct when he states that even these products can be addicting, they are about 99 percent less dangerous than regular cigarettes.”